Saturday 26 January, 2008
After playing the second session for 2+ hours I was able to get deeper into the game and reached up to the 10th colossus. The plot in the game hasn’t developed much outside of defeating the colossi which brings you closer to saving your dead girlfriend. During this session in the game I did become more and more frustrating with every new colossus that is more difficult than the last. The game’s difficulty did begin to make quitting it a lot more tempting.
One thing I noticed as I progressed in the game was that the colossus went from being gentle to a lot more aggressive. At the beginning because the colossus were so docile and the art work is so elaborate that you can see facial expressions killing them was almost heart breaking because you could see that they were living, breathing, sentient beings. The realistic artwork, graphics and sounds contributed to this, I believe.
Just when I was going to call a quits, I decided to call my friend’s little brother, who has played the game before for some assistance. He told me how to defeat the water-snake as well as let me in on some cheats. If you kill lizards with white tips on their tails and pick up the tail you increase your “grip” circle. Also, if you knock down fruits from trees and pick them up, you make your health bar bigger. These tips really got me getting back into the game and it wasn’t as frustrating.
Another tip my friend’s brother gave me was showing me were some hidden “save” points (go to temples and press O) were. This was especially useful since the game doesn’t tell you about “save” points and the only way to save your progress is an automatic save point after defeating each colossus. Unfortunately the game always sends you back to the main castle after you defeat the colossus, so when you set out to find the next one you start from the same place and sometimes it gets boring riding out from the same place. This was a small but very annoying problem I had with the game.
Another thing that really bothered me with this game was the camera angles. Unfortunately I think the forced camera views on some parts of the game were very frustrating, other times when you were able to lock on to a colossus or when you moved the camera you still had problems with being able to see either your self or your target. I think this is mainly due to the fact your avatar is so small compared to the enormous colossus.
However despite all this, the over all concept of the design including the breathtaking artwork is all superb. I really liked the idea of this game having no side quests and how each level was made up of colossi each with their own personalities, behaviors, and style. My favorite colossi were by far the bird and the water snake. I thought that the element of fighting while being pulled through the sky or submerged under water while going really fast was very challenging without losing the player’s interest.
Sometimes the colossi did get difficult and since the game offers one obscure clue per colossi, this did put a damper on my experience. I feel that the designers could have given more obvious clues or been a little more helpful with longer text.
The tone of seriousness and realism to support the gravity of the situation of the character (he is fighting colossi with a sword after all) all the more real and really helped to involve me further into the minimal story there was. It awakened the curiosity to find out what will happen after the 16th colossus falls. Will the black aura destroy me? Will the god uphold the promise. Or will the god turn out to be a malevolent spirit? This whole story mystery was also a very clever device to keep the player interested.